Her mind-set was simple after the Washington Mystics wrapped up Thursday’s practice at Verizon Center. Everything is better after a win, Coach Trudi Lacey said with a laugh.
It hadn’t been often that the team had practiced after a win, and Sunday’s victory over Phoenix was just their third of the season. And they haven’t won two straight in nearly two years.
In order to end that drought on Friday, the Mystics will have to go through San Antonio, one of the league’s hottest teams.
The Silver Stars feature dynamic forward Danielle Adams and veteran guard Becky Hammon. They have won five straight and seven of their last eight after Thursday’s victory at Indiana.
Adams, a rookie, uses her 239-pound frame to stretch defenses. Along with her defensive presence on the low post, she can knock down an outside shot. Adams has made 32 percent of her three-pointers and is averaging 12.5 points per game.
“It’s a little bit different for us,” said Lacey. “Sometimes she’ll play away from the basket and our bigs are going to have to get down and play defense at the three-point line.”
Hammon leads the league with 5.8 assists per game and also shoots 45 percent from three-point range. She has averaged 18 points over the team’s last five games.
The Mystics will rely on 10-year veteran Michelle Snow to help limit San Antonio on the low post. Snow’s 10-point, nine-rebound effort on Sunday was an improvement after a rough three-game stretch. She said she expects to continue that type of play and is looking forward to matching up against San Antonio’s post players.
“Just like they have a lot of strengths, they have a lot of weaknesses as well and we have to exploit them,” said Snow.
Shooting guard Shannon Bobbitt practiced fully on Thursday and will be ready on Friday. She left Sunday’s game in the fourth quarter after colliding with an opposing player. Lacey said Bobbitt had a neck strain.
Snow said although the team has struggled, the season isn’t over yet. It’s been frustrating, she said, as it’s a “team full of winners.” But, they’re looking to finish strong before the Olympic break later this month.
“Most of us have been winners and aren’t used to a losing season,” she said. “The adjustment is going to be overcoming that hurdle and finding a rhythm.”